For some folks
wave after wave of memories
wash upon our lives
Indeed, I’m getting older!

Sometimes gentle
from childhood times…
I remember my step dad
lugging me up to bed
I was nine
and car travel made me sleepy
Good guy that he was
his strong arms scooped me up
and he carried me up the stairs
tucked me in

Many were the times
Sunday dinner finished
we sat at table and talked
debated, taking sides,
then half time
changed sides
and began again!

We spent a lot of time
our heads under a hood
looking at car engines
changing plugs and points
and other things
or lying on our backs
repairing u joints
or a hundred other things beneath

Special times were building
we lived in a good old house
frame solid, but needing change
to hold a growing family
We always talked when working….

Along life’s highway I grew up
bounded out of college, married,
and started my career
24/7 at first
not knowing any better
He got tired
went home to rest
and I went on
day and night
His forte was patience
with me

We plowed and tilled and planted
tended and then came harvest
sun up to sun down and longer
we brought the harvest home

Bumps and bruises
we both got
and sometimes a cut
we repaired, went on
task oriented
clear objectives
gulp down learning
do it better
keep up with the neighbors!
We were friends

Old age came to him
in Parkinson’s
the strong arms lost their strength
the legs wouldn’t function
bit by bit
his body failed him
then failure captured his mind

Finally, one long night,
I sat with him from midnight on
pneumonia squeezing his lungs
each breath so hard
I held his hand
patted him
and talked a lot of memories
The eyes closed
he labored on
then stopped
was still
except for a heart still beating
On and on it went
I called a nurse
Kind, she held his other hand
then he was gone

I hear him laughing
I hear him talking, debating
I remember our wrestling
So many things…

I attest the words:
“Well done,
thou good and faithful servant,
welcome home…forever.”

Lin, 1/2012
Master Sargeant Charles Joseph Clementz
Step dad